How do I tell my child about ASAP?
- It’s best to be honest with your child. Tell them about the appointment when you both are having a good day. Explain that you’re concerned about their drug use and that this appointment is for an assessment and advice from physicians.
- If another physician or someone at school has referred you, tell your child that others are concerned as well. Be clear that this appointment is not a form of punishment, but rather a type of education.
- If your child feels that you’re “over-reacting,” acknowledge that this may be the case and remind them that you want advice from a physician. Explain that if the doctors don’t find a problem, you’ll feel reassured.
- If your child says they won’t go or won’t talk to a doctor, explain that this is an important health appointment and that it is not optional. Tell them that you will go to the visit and follow the doctor’s advice without or without them, but that the appointment will be much more beneficial if the doctors have a chance to speak to him as well.
- If your child says that all of their friends use drugs, tell her that you are concerned about her. Tell him that you are making the appointment because you love and care about him. Say again that this appointment is not a form of punishment.
Do tell your child something about the appointment before you go. Teens who aren’t given enough information, or are given incorrect information, may feel “tricked.” Some teens may decline to participate in a meaningful way in the interview if they find out the reason for the visit only after they arrive at the clinic.
We have two offices: at the main hospital at 300 Longwood Avenue, on the 10th floor of the Fegan Building, and at Boston Children's Brookline at 2 Brookline Place, Brookline. When you arrive at our office, one of our staff at the front desk will verify your personal and insurance information and collect the co-pay for your visit. You will then go into the waiting area until greeted by a member of our staff.
What to expect during your first appointments
Our diagnostic assessments take place over the course of three appointments scheduled in a two- to three-week period. During these appointments, you and your child meet individually with a pediatric clinician and a mental health provider. Each appointment lasts about an hour.
- The adolescent will meet with a pediatric clinician, and their parents/guardians will meet with a mental health clinician.
- The adolescent will meet with a mental health clinician, and their parents/guardians will meet with a pediatric clinician.
- Our clinical team will meet to discuss the information we have gathered and will make treatment recommendations.
- The family will meet with one clinician to discuss impressions, treatment, and recommendations and options.
As early as the first appointment, ASAP clinicians start counseling about substance use. Most adolescents leave the first appointment feeling good about the appointment, and many start to make changes right away.
After your appointments
After your full evaluation is complete, you will receive a summary of our impressions and recommendations. The treatment plan agreed upon at the conclusion of the assessment will begin at ASAP, or if indicated, we will refer you to community providers.
Because demographic and insurance information is verified at every visit, please bring your insurance card every time you come to Boston Children’s. If your insurance, address, or phone number changes, please contact the office so we can update it. This will help us in the event we need to contact you to change your appointment.
How does ASAP protect confidentiality?
ASAP’s medical records are highly protected and are not accessible to any individual or agency without specific signed permission from the parents if your child is under 18, or from you child if they are older than 18.
Completed paperwork can be either emailed or faxed to us directly:
Fax: 617-730-0252 (Attention: ASAP)
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